Parents ‘in limbo’ after shock closure of Viking School in Skegness
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The shock news was shared in an email that was sent out on behalf of the Viking School on Thursday, August 24, by Spilsby solicitors Sills and Betteridge.
It explained the closure that very day had been brought about following a ‘challenging’ time for the school since the death of its owner, Sandra Barker, in January 2021.
"Following Sandra’s death great efforts have been made to keep the school open for the benefit of local families during what has been an incredibly challenging time,” the letter read.
“This has become increasingly difficult as the number of students attending the school has fallen whilst the school’s expenses have continued to increase."
Parents told Lincolnshire World they were aware numbers at the school had fallen but had no idea things were so bad that it would be forced to close so suddenly.
Lincolnshire World met with a number of parents and their children outside the school yesterday (Tuesday).
Mum Mariola Vernon said hearing about the closure days before the start of the new term was ‘very unfair’.
“Students have been left without a school for September, and due to such a short notice and the Bank Holiday, we as parents are panicking as we need our children in education,” she said.
"My own daughter has been at the school for three years and cried when I told her the news. I hear other children are really upset too because they have formed friendships at the school.
“Most of the local schools are fully subscribed, leaving us in limbo. It has also come to my attention that most of the parents, including us, found out from other parents as there was no official letter sent out, only an email.
"Many people don’t check their mail on a daily basis unless made aware about it.
”Letters regarding fees for the new year were sent out in July and we know of at least one parent who has paid them. Others have bought new school uniform.”
According to Ofsted, which rated the school as ‘good’ in its last inspection in 2022, there were 69 full-time and 37 part-time boys and girls between the ages of two-and-a-half and 11 years enrolled at the school.
Located in a 19th century detached house in Church Road North, the property has been used as a school since the 1940s.
A spokesperson from Sills and Betteridge told the Standard: “Regrettably, we confirm that The Viking School was forced to close on 24 August, 2023.
“The school was actively marketed for sale for some time, but unfortunately a buyer could not be found. The resulting financial situation sadly meant that the school was no longer viable and the difficult decision was therefore made to close before the start of the new term.
“Sadly a small number of pupils will need to find alternative schooling. At this difficult time we are looking to support the school’s employees.”
Lincolnshire County Council is directing parents to their schools admissions page at lincolnshire.gov.uk/school-admissions/apply-school
- For the full story see today’s Skegness Standard newspaper.